Technology & Differentiation
J2 Training - Janet Corder & Joan Gore
Five Key Considerations for Meaningful Differentiation with Technology
Tracy Sockalosky, a middle school teacher from Natick, MA has, in our opinion, summed up differentiation using technology in her blog, Learning, Teaching & Technology. Below are her 5 considerations for meaningful differentiation with technology. I highly recommend that you read her entire blog post here.
1. Start with the learning goal.
2. Consider assessment before assignment expectations.
3. Ensure that differentiation is invisible.
4. Don’t recreate the wheel.
5. Maximize flexibility to increase access and engagement.
Differentiation with Digital Tools
By giving students a choice and a voice in their learning, teachers can begin to use digital tools to differentiate teaching and learning. Include students in questions like:
- What do you want to learn?
- How do you want to learn it?
- Where do you want to learn it?
- Who will you learn it with?
- How will you show that you've learned it?
- What will you use to show you've learned it?
- What can you create to show your learning?
- Why is important to learn this?
- What are the transferable skills?
Follow Mr. Mason for more ed tech ideas - @EdTechMason!
Share Your Ideas
Giving Students Choices
Today's technology tools can provide teachers with the ability to give their students choices when assigning projects. Every student may not have the same apps as their classmates, so instead of requiring the students to use a particular app or website, why not give them a choice? You will find that student engagement and creativity will increase when students are given the freedom to use different tools to deliver content.
Here are three examples of a project about President John F. Kennedy. The examples contain the same content, however, the information is presented in a different format in each project.
Examples of assignments that give students choices:
Tic Tac Techo
Science Tic Tech Toe Board 1 - by Misty Whitworth & Julie Lyle, Argyle ISD
Science Tic Tech Toe Board 2 - by Misty Whitworth & Julie Lyle, Argyle ISD
Liven Up Your Lessons by Giving Students Choices
Animoto for Education
Meet Mr. Clark
Civil Rights Examples
Newsela is an online news-as-literacy platform that includes current articles in seven categories: War & Peace, Science, Health, Kids, Money, Law, and Arts. The articles are Common Core-aligned and available in five Lexile levels. Each leveled text includes a quiz and a writing prompt about the article.
Quick Start Guide for Teachers
Quizizz is very similar to Kahoot, except the questions appear on the students' devices.
Let's try it out!
- On your device or laptop, open quizizz.com.
- Click Join a Game.
- Enter the Game Code the teacher provides and click Go.
- Type in your name and click Join Game.
- Wait for the teacher to begin the game.
WOW - Quizizz can now read the questions and answers to your students! This is currently only available on IOS devices, but they are working to expand this feature to other devices.
Thinglink - Putting It All Together
Graphing Linear Inequalities
500+ ThinkLink Educational Examples
Google Docs for Learning
Bloom's Digital Taxonomy & Web 2.0 Tools
Virtual Manipulatives for the iPad
The Balance Sheet
College Tour and Information
Favorite Chrome Extensions
Life Cycle of a Butterfly
John Spencer - The Creative Classroom and Write About
John Spencer, a former middle school teacher and current college professor, creates writing prompts in what he calls "Sketchy Videos". His videos can be found on this YouTube playlist and directions for creating the videos can be found on John's blog. We found the videos to be a great way to engage students in the writing process, but why not take it one step further and have the students use an animation app or program to create their own writing prompts that can be shared with their classmates?
The Write About website is an online tool that allows students to write for an audience and gives teachers the ability to provide feedback. There is a bank of writing prompts categorized by grade level and category or by grade level and genre. Teachers can also add to the bank of prompts. There are different pricing levels for the site, but the free version is a great place to begin or to use for writing prompt ideas.
Be sure and check out John's website for more great ideas for the creative classroom!
This tool is great for brainstorming, however, our favorite way to use it is to have students copy and paste their essays into Wordle and then they will see a visual representation of the the words they have used. If a word or words appear very large, they need to find synonyms to replace them.
The Word Clouds App is a comparable tool for iPad users.
Read Write Think Student Interactives
Read Write Think Student Interactives
Cube Creator - helps students to learn the skill of summarizingTrading Cards - create trading cards for any number of categories
Timeline - create a graphical representation of an event or process by displaying items sequentially along a line
- TES resources
- Word Doc
- Google Drive
Differentiation with BlendSpace
Other Tech Tools
Blog Post & Video Example - Physics
Vocaroo allows you to create voice recordings and send them through email. No need to install any software! (WEB)
Google Slides is one of the collaborative tools available from Google. Students can create online, collaborative presentations and collaborate with other people in real time.
eMaze - A nice site that is a cross between Prezi and PP that allows users to zoom around their presentation. Best of all, a finished presentation can be embedded into a site.
Blabberize - Upload a picture, create a mouth, on the photo and then record your voice to make your character speak. (WEB)
Chatterpix - Make your photos, friends, pets or drawings talk. Take a photo, draw a line to make a mouth and record your voice and then share with your friends and family. Very creative way for students to introduce themselves. (APP)
PhotoSpeak - Works like Chatterpix. (APP)
Tellagami (free and in-app purchase) - Create and share quick animated videos called Gamis. (APP)
MIxbook EDU - Students can create customizable photo books for free. Parents can view the photo books and can even purchase a hardback copy. (WEB)
Ordering Food in Spanish for Dummies
World War I
Book Creator for iPad - Create ebooks on your iPad that you can easily share with other.
Tips and Tricks
YouTube videos without ads and clutter
- Copy the URL (web address) of the YouTube video.
- Open Safeshare.tv and paste the URL into blank and click Generate Safe Link.
- The new link contains the YouTube video without ads.
*Viewpure.com is another site that allows you to remove the ads from YouTube videos. You can also search for videos from the home page.
- Copy the URL (address) of the website you want to direct the students to.
- Open tinyurl.com.
- Paste the URL into the Enter a long URL to make tiny: field.
- You can click Make TinyURL field and the site will create a shortened URL for you or you can make a custom URL by adding your own title in the Custom Alias field.
- Click Make TinyURL. If you are making a custom alias and the alias you chose has already been taken, the site will inform you that your alias is not available.
Enhancing Learning Through Differentiated Technology - Excellent post from Edutopia.
Digital Differentiation with Google Classroom gives step-by-step directions for
differentiating assignments in Google Classroom from Kasey Bell, AKA Shake Up Learning.
5 ideas for using Google Classroom’s new differentiation and grouping feature from Matt Miller, author of Ditch that Textbook.
20 Whole Group Differentiation Techniques for ANY Grade from the Adventures of Room 129.
Google Slides: Choose Your Own Adventure by Alice Keeler
100+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media - from Edutopia